When I was first creating my website, I was so confused and frustrated. I didn’t know what I wanted my website to be about or how to get started. When I confided in close friends and mentors, many of them would tell me, “Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out,” or “You’ll learn along the way.”
Although I know they were just trying to help me alleviate the anxiety I was feeling about setting up my website, I had a fire in me that really wanted to get my site off the ground so I needed answers ASAP.
After three months of research and prep work, I finally launched my website in April. Here are six tips that can help you create a website:
Analyze websites from writers, bloggers, influencers and content creators you admire
Before I started my website, I looked at websites from Mattieologie, ByRegina, Amber Aziza, Lauren Tharp, Alexandra Frazen, Demetria Lucas, Jen Carrington, and Claudia Balthazar.
I read different pages of their websites and figured out which sections I wanted on my site. I also paid close attention to the topics they wrote about and how they wrote it.
Although each of them have their own unique style and brand, I wanted to see how each of them incorporated their voice and personality into their writing so I could figure out how to do the same.
I also looked at websites like xonecole, Everything Girls Love, and Blavity for inspiration. I encourage you to follow suite.
Make a list of people whose websites you like and start the process. Find out what topics they write about on their websites and see which sections (About Me, Blog, Contact Me, Portfolio, etc) they have that you can incorporate in yours.
Now for people who are more visually driven, pay close attention to what you like and don’t like about their website layout. As you do this; however, remember that website designs attract people, but its the content that keeps those people coming back.
Figure out the purpose behind your website
I can’t explain how many times I’ve heard people say, “I know I need a website”, but then when I ask them why they want one they’re response is “x person told me I need one.” This is not good.
If you don’t know the purpose behind your website, it’s going to be difficult for you to create and maintain your site.
Do you want a website to serve as your professional portfolio? Do you want it to blog about your travels and crazy encounters? Do you want a website to attract potential clients? Do you want to a website to showcase your expertise and sell products?
It’s okay to have more than one reason for starting a website and it’s okay for your reason to change. Just make sure you have a solid reason you can stand on that can help start your site.
Find free or low-cost resources to help get you started
Some people have in their head that they need millions of dollars to create a website. Although money is important and necessary, it doesn’t have to be the deciding factor of starting your website.
There are so many free and low-cost resources you can use to create your website, it’s insane.
Some resources that have helped me were Jen Carrington’s Writing for Dream Clients and Maya E Personal Branding Jumpstart. These are five-day email writing prompts so I suggest you pace yourself. I know you want your website to be up and running today BUT don’t burn yourself out by trying to complete both at the same time. Creating your own website is a marathon, not a sprint.
The free resources I gave you above will help you write, but you must set aside time to start writing.
You can write pen to paper, type, or use the voice typing option in Google docs if you have GMAIL.
When you start writing, you’ll start feeling good about working towards your goal and will be closer to creating the website you always wanted.
Choose a website platform that works best for you
When it comes to hosting your blog on a website, you have an array of options. There’s WIX, Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and SquareSpace to name a few.
Although there’s no right or wrong website platform, there are a few that are more user-friendly and Google friendly then others. Personally, I think if you’re just starting out a website powered by Square Space or WordPress is the best way to go.
Square Space is $8/month and has great layouts you can choose from to make your website look flawless. Besides paying $28 for a domain name for a domain name that’s good for a year, you can use WordPress for free.
If you want to use WordPress, but don’t want your site to look janky, there are ways you can make your free WordPress look credible. You can also go to www.wpbeginner.com for tips on setting up your website.
Don’t give up
If you want a website, start the process of creating your website today. It’s easy to You may get frustrated in the process, but the key is to push through the frustration and go through the process of writing the content of your website.
You may feel fired up at first, but it’s easy to get sidetracked by looking at what others have already done and what you don’t have. FOCUS ON YOU. Everyone’s process is different and everyone’s story will be told at different times. The important thing is to make sure your story is told so stay the course.
Since April, I’ve changed my layout, edited content, and added more pages. I even took out some content that I REALLY liked because it wasn’t meshing with the purpose of my website.
I say all this to say that your website will transform over time, but it’s important to build the foundation of your website to see what works, what doesn’t work, and what you’re passionate about writing.
What has helped you create content for your website? Feel free to share your comments below.